The Chinese Bites Signature Dish Tour took us to Strike Restaurant on Broadway the other night. If you have yet to hear about it—it’s a fairly new Taiwanese restaurant (about 7 months old) that’s located right within the busy Kits community.
Last Friday, Richmond’s Pumphouse Pub invited me to join them for one of their infamous “Long Table Dinners”.
The concept behind the Long Table Dinner is brilliant. Basically, the idea is to have customers come out & try new, exciting craft beers from breweries across North America.
This is a great way to get customers to become more open minded & explore past their “go-to” drink.
This month’s long table dinner was hosted by award-winning Green Flash Brewery, located all the way in San Diego, CA. I had the opportunity of trying 5 different Green Flash Craft Beers, each of which was cleverly paired to a dish the chef at the Pumphouse Pub had created.
The first beer brought out was Green Flash Rayon Vert. It was by far my favorite beer. It was light, delicate & filled with citrusy hops. A more of a “girl beer” I would say (I know you are all judging me at the moment =) ). The dish chosen to pair was a Thai Noodle Mango Salad; baby shrimp, mangoes, shredded coconut, bean sprouts & cashews. It was a very refreshing noodle salad & its fruity mango hints worked perfectly with the citrus hops of the Rayon Vert.
The next beer brought out was a Green Flash West Coast IPA. It was a full flavored, medium bodied and copper colored beer that kind of smelt like…..horse hay? Don’t worry though! I solemnly swear that its taste was far from its smell.
The dish that was chosen to compliment the drink was a Coconut Curry Prawn with a Jicama & Pineapple Slaw. The prawns were beautifully cooked & the slaw was lovely. However, the coconut flavors were much too subtle. I personally felt that the West Coast IPA was far too heavy of a beer to match the delicacy of this protein.
The next dish, Spicy Dry Rubbed Roast Beef with Caramelized Yams was by far my favorite. Oh. My. God. This dish was so good that I had completely forgotten about the beer until I nearly licked my plate clean. What in the world was in that spice rub!?
The Le Freak Belgian Style IPA that had been chosen to pair with this dish was extremely satisfying with the Roast Beef. Much more satisfying than a glass of red (this is coming from a serious wine lover)!
One of the dinner guests had made an interesting point: “Beer has much more versatility than wine does, yet we never think to match our dinner with it”.
The Le Freak beer…was a little freaky to be honest ( in a good way!). I’ve never had a beer quite like it. My taste buds were on fire with flavors of malt, oak and apple! Also…check out the white foamy head on this beauty!
The final main course brought to the table was a Grilled Jerk Salmon with Miso Bay Scallops & Coconut rice .
Alright where do I begin with this dish? First off, both proteins (salmon and scallops) were cooked to perfection. I’m still not sure what Miso-Bay is but whatever it’s supposed to be…it worked & tasted great. The texture of the rice was very good, although there was absolutely no trace of coconut in this “coconut rice”. I’m assuming the rice was cooked in coconut milk, however– it failed to absorb any of the flavour.
The beer chosen to pair with this dish was the Green Flash Imperial IPA. The IPA was quite hoppy, yet it managed to have notes of sweet floral. This sweetness played perfectly with the salmon & dominated the bitterness of the IPA. A very successful pairing I would say.
One of the table guests, Taylor, who was a beer & wine whiz, told me that beer lacing is a very good indicator of a high quality beer.
He was right. Check out the lacing on this Green Flash IPA…clinged to the glass for its life. Bet your Corona can’t do that trick!
We finally finished off the night with the Green Flash Double Stout Beer & a decadent Raspberry Cheesecake Pie.
Our amazing culinary adventure was then topped off with some great late night music.
What an amazing time Kiana & I had! I would like to give another BIG thank you to the Pumphouse Pub for having me! You have a truly special place & I will definitely be recommending it. Lastly, I would like to say how wonderful it was to have met and dined with all you craft-beer loving foodies! This experience was a wonderful way to have gotten to know some of you Richmond locals =).
If any of you would like to share a similar experience, the Pumphouse Pub offers these Long Table Dinners once a month!